These are just some of the composers and artists that the Classical music world lost in 2013. Their inspiring musical legacy can be found in their many recordings, and in many instances, also in the talents of their students.
James DePreist (Nov. 21, 1936 - Feb. 8, 2013)
The nephew of contralto Marian Anderson, James DePreist was an important figure in American music, conducting both the standard classics and new works by American composers. He suffered from polio and kidney disease, yet maintained an active career leading major orchestras around the world, including the New York Philharmonic, the Rotterdam Philharmonic, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Quebec Symphony, the Oregon Symphony, and the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra. He was also a professor at Juilliard.
Eric Ericson (Oct. 26, 1918 - Feb. 16, 2013)
Known as a skilled choral director and conductor, Eric Ericson became prominent through his work with the Swedish Radio Choir. Ericson drew clear and spontaneous performances from this group and other choruses, as well as from major orchestras. A specialist in 19th century Swedish music, Ericson often directed the great choral masterpieces of the Baroque and Classical periods, as well as contemporary works.
Wolfgang Sawallisch (Aug. 26, 1923 - Feb. 22, 2013)
Maestro Sawallisch was known for his thoughtful and refined interpretations, both as a conductor of symphonic music and opera and as a Lieder accompanist with artists such as Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Elisabeth Schwartzkopf. He developed long-term relationships with several orchestras -- including the Vienna Symphony, the Hamburg State Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the NHK Symphony -- and with the Bavarian State Opera. He is believed to have led over 30 complete Ring Cycles during his career.
Marie-Claire Alain (Aug. 10, 1926 - Feb. 26, 2013)
The organist Marie-Claire Alain was best known for her championing the music of her brother, Jehan Alain, and for recording the complete organ works of Bach not just once, but three times. It was obvious that it wasn't just the music that delighted her, but the instruments available to her as well, some of them dating back to Bach's day. However, her dozens of recordings include many other composers, and she was widely appreciated as a teacher as well.
Van Cliburn (Jul. 12, 1934 - Feb. 27, 2013)
Van Cliburn became an instant legend when he, an American, won the gold at the very first Tchaikovsky Competition in Russia at the height of the Cold War era. It was this, as much as his ability to play the sweeping music of the Romantics, that appealed to audiences, and which inspired the formation of a similar competition in the US. He retreated from performing for much of the 1980s, but was just as welcomed as before when he returned to performing in 1987.
Risë Stevens (Jun. 11, 1913 - Mar. 20, 2013)
Mezzo-soprano Risë Stevens was one of the most celebrated American opera stars in the middle of the 20th century. Of Norwegian descent, her original name was Risë Steenberg. She showed early promise as a singer, and her voice was warm, light, and lyrical. She was well-suited to "trouser" roles, including Octavian in Richard Strauss' Der Rosenkavalier, Cherubino in Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro, and Prince Orlofsky in Johann Strauss' Die Fledermaus. Her most famous role was Carmen.
Colin Davis (Sep. 25, 1927 - Apr. 14, 2013)
Admired for his consistently excellent performances and recordings, Colin Davis was one of the world's leading conductors in the last decades of the 20th century. He began his music career as a clarinet student at the Royal College of Music in London, but a performance of Berlioz's oratorio L'enfance du Christ inspired him to take up the baton. He is especially remembered for his first-rate recordings of the music of Berlioz and Sibelius, though his performances of Mozart are also appreciated.
Jean-François Paillard (Apr. 12, 1928 - Apr. 15, 2013)
Best-known for his slow and lush arrangement for string orchestra of Pachelbel's Canon in D, conductor and musicologist Jean-François Paillard was one of the most visible French performers of Baroque music from the 1960s onward. He formed the Ensemble Jean-Marie Leclair in 1952, which was soon renamed the Jean-François Paillard Chamber Orchestra. As the public's interest in Baroque music rose in the 1960s, the group's recordings on Erato and later on RCA were eagerly collected by American listeners, making his version of the Canon a popular sensation.
Janos Starker (Jul. 5, 1927 - Apr. 28, 2013)
Starker was respected as a thorough musician, one who knew everything there was to know about playing the cello -- from the parts of the instrument to how each muscle was used to play it -- and who regarded music as an expressive language. His talent was recognized early, and he had already made recordings before immigrating to the US in 1948 to begin an orchestral, then a solo career. Making his students into good cellists was just as important to him as his own music-making.
Henri Dutilleux (Jan. 22, 1916 - May 22, 2013)
Composer Henri Dutilleux was not as prolific, or even as well known, as other contemporary composers, but those who did know his music, knew that he was a careful, thoughtful composer. His music was distinctly his own, he refused to strictly follow compositional trends. Instead, he adapted popular techniques only when he wanted to and to fit his own desires and the needs of the performers who commissioned his music. Despite the small output, several of his works are recognized as modern classics, such as Ainsi la nuit and Tout un monde lointain.
Mario Bernardi (Aug. 20, 1930 - Jun. 6, 2013)
A leading Canadian conductor, Mario Bernardi received his education during World War II in Italy. Bernardi made his debut with the Canadian Opera Company's production of Hänsel und Gretel. After directing London's Sadler's Wells Opera and the San Francisco Opera, he conducted the CBC Vancouver Orchestra and the Calgary Philharmonic, and appeared as a guest-conductor with nearly every professional orchestra in Canada and many in the United States.
Regina Resnik (Aug. 30, 1922 - Aug. 8, 2013)
Regina Resnik began her operatic career as a soprano, but as demands on her voice forced her to sing in a lower tessitura, she became one of the great mezzo-sopranos of her time. By 1956, she was singing at the Metropolitan Opera, appearing there for three decades. She sang nearly all of the major roles in the dramatic mezzo-soprano repertoire, and her Wagner performances were ranked among the best of her time.
John Tavener (Jan. 28, 1944 - Nov. 12, 2013)
The music of composer John Tavener is intimately tied to his own spirituality, in addition to events in his personal life, which often prompted him to compose. The meditative, mystic, organic qualities of his later music -- written after his conversion to Russian Orthodoxy -- are what appeal to so many performers and listeners, although his earlier music was also popular in its day and much of it was also related to religion.
Tom Krause (Jul. 5, 1934 - Dec. 6, 2013)
Finnish opera star Tom Krause, sometimes billed as a bass, sometimes as a bass-baritone, seemed to excel in nearly all vocal repertoire. He was especially known for Mozart roles, but whether he was singing Bach's St. Matthew Passion, songs by Sibelius, or in Bizet's Carmen, he had a refined, musical instinct and sensitive authority regardless.